Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy



Major Professor

Robert G. Wahler

Committee Members

James Lawler, Daniela Corbetta, R. Steve McCallum


In theory, parents should use their autobiographical narratives to describe their parenting experiences, which should reflect their parenting style. Past correlational studies show that parents with coherent narratives tend to be more sensitive to their children. Since we know that authoritative parents are able to recognize the needs of their child and respond more appropriately and sensitively, it is likely that this capacity will also be referenced in their narratives. This study looked at the narratives of 40 mothers in relation to their parenting style and child’s behavior. Results showed that narrative coherence was negatively associated with authoritarian parenting style. Authoritative parenting style was positively associated with child behavior problems, while authoritarian parenting style was negatively associated with child behavior problems. The implication of narrative coherence in relation to parenting is discussed.

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